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Kean questions Transportation and Infrastructure Committee witnesses on rail technology

Kean Also Received Subcommittee Assignments for 118th Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the first meeting of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Tom Kean, Jr. (NJ-07) questioned a panel of witnesses on the future of technology in America’s rail system. He also received subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress.

Rep. Kean questioned the hearing witnesses on how our nation can deploy technology to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of America’s rail system.

Rep. Kean was assigned to sit on the Subcommittee on Aviation, the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials within the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for the 118thCongress.

“I am excited to serve on these subcommittees where we tackle big infrastructure projects for the Northeast. Aviation, roadways, transit and railroads all have to work together in a strong 21st century economy.  Over the next two years, we will deliver on critical improvements and expansion to America’s infrastructure that will make us a leader in the world,” Kean said.

Jurisdiction of Subcommittees: 

  • Aviation:

The Subcommittee on Aviation has jurisdiction over all aspects of civil aviation, including safety, infrastructure, labor, commerce, and international issues.  All programs of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), except for research activities, are within the purview of the Subcommittee.

The Aviation Subcommittee is also traditionally the lead subcommittee with jurisdiction over the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the federal agency responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents and other transportation accidents.  The Essential Air Service program, which ensures commercial air service to smaller communities, the war risk insurance program, which provides insurance coverage for commercial flights to high-risk parts of the world, the National Mediation Board (NMB), and passenger and cargo commercial space transportation also fall within the purview of the Aviation Subcommittee.

  • Highways and Transit:

The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit has responsibility for the development of national surface transportation policy, including policies related to the construction and improvement of highway and transit facilities, of safety and research programs, and regulation of commercial motor vehicle operations. Within this scope of responsibilities, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over many U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) programs and modal administrations.

A modern surface transportation system is critical to ensuring the safe, efficient flow of people and commerce, which is a fundamental federal responsibility. The foremost legislative product of the Subcommittee is the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act —the latest reauthorization of these programs—was enacted on December 4, 2015, and was the first long-term, multi-year surface transportation reauthorization law in over a decade.  The FAST Act reauthorizes federal surface transportation programs through fiscal year 2020, refocuses programs on addressing national priorities, provides more flexibility and certainty for states and local governments, accelerates project delivery, and promotes innovation.

  • Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials:

The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials has jurisdiction over the economic and safety regulation of railroads, the transportation of hazardous materials, and the issue of pipeline safety.

The Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the agencies that administer these regulations. Railroad rates, service matters, and restructuring transactions, including mergers, is overseen by the five-member Surface Transportation Board (STB). The independent agency also has the authority to address national emergencies as they affect the nation’s rail transportation system, and is responsible for resolving certain disputes involving Amtrak.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for administering railroad safety laws and railroad infrastructure and development programs, possesses responsibilities relevant to homeland security, and has federal oversight of Amtrak.

Amtrak is the Nation’s major provider of intercity passenger rail service. Also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak was established by law in 1970 and required to assume the responsibility from private sector railroads for provision of passenger rail services. The Subcommittee continues to oversee efforts to increase efficiency and accountability in Amtrak’s operations.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has jurisdiction over the safe transportation of energy products and other hazardous materials.

Additionally, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the benefit but not revenue aspects of railroad retirement and unemployment systems, as well as rail labor relations.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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